What is your skin type?

The best way to figure this out is to wash your face and then do not apply anything. Wait a few hours, preferably overnight, and check back to look for certain signs. But if you’re in a hurry, just think of how your skin looks and feels right after you wash it.

Normal skin will feel just right. There will not be any oil or dry patches, and your complexion is even and smooth.

Dry skin will feel tight and itchy and can have flaky areas. Your complexion may be uneven and dull.

Oily skin will look shiny, feel oily, and have large pores. You may also have uneven skin tone.

Combination skin will have a little from all the above, usually an oily t zone with dry cheeks.

Now there are also skin concerns which are not related to your skin type. If you have dermatitis, rosacea, or eczema, this can appear with any of the above skin types. Other skin concerns include aging skin, which has lines around the mouth, eyes, and cheeks; sun damaged skin, which has discoloration and fine lines; acne prone skin, which has scars from past breakouts and active breakouts; and sensitive skin, which is skin with a lot of redness or itching or very reactive skin (this includes those with rashes and rosacea).

It’s important to think about your skin overall. Having 1 breakout, or even a couple around the time of your period does not mean you have acne prone skin. Your skin type is how your skin is most of the time. Also be aware that your skin is affected by your environment, how much you touch it, hormones, your genes, the products you use, medications, and your diet and water intake. Because of this, your skin type can change throughout your life. 

It’s also important to know that if you’re unknowingly using the wrong products it could be exacerbating the problem. For example, when I was younger I thought that because I had acne my skin was oily. I washed my face twice a day, exfoliated every day, applied those horrible pimple creams and my skin just stayed the same. I did not realize that I had dry skin, and by using those harsh products, my skin was getting drier and was overproducing oil, which kept causing breakouts. So keep in mind that your dry, acne, or oily skin may be caused by the products you’re using.